On September 21st and 22nd, fifteen delegates from Right 2 Survive and Sisters of the
Road made the trip to the Capital in Salem, Oregon to meet with Senators and House
Representatives to reintroduce the Homeless Bill of Rights. We met up with Kimberly
McCullough from the ACLU, former intern Karissa Moden, and Paul Boden of WRAP, to do outreach
and to provide education for this years’ bill (before the Session begins).
We came prepared with packets and answers for their questions. Breaking into groups and
learning their backgrounds and passions helped us to tailor our conversations to hold their
attention. Our packets include statistics on criminalization, numbers of houseless school children
in Oregon, and fact sheets supporting the Bill. Each group also shared some personal stories of
their life and experiences on the streets, adding impact to our delivery.
What a delivery we all made! Everyone that we spoke to directly has said that they were interested,
and would support the Homeless Bill of Rights -either by signing on, or by becoming a Bill backer. We
also spoke with first time Representative Piluso, who was in Law Enforcement in the city of
Gresham,Oregon- and she has agreed to be our Champion. With her background, she understands both
the legal and Human sides of houselessness. Senator Hayward felt strongly that a meeting with the
League of Cities needs to take place, and is willing to facilitate. Senator Dembrow, who co-
Championed the last bill and supports this years’ bill, suggested that we continue to network and gather
statistics on the impacts of Cities with SWEEPS: and the policing, ticketing, prosecution and jailing of un-housed
folks- as related to the bill.
Overall, the back to back meeting and the support for the Homeless Bill of Rights was
welcoming. We are sending in a ‘Letter To Mother’, which is the draft submission, and we look
forward to keeping in close contact with both House and Senate members with whom we spoke.
Our campaign continues to build, and the work is far from over. However, this is a huge step in
the right direction. Oregon is moving forward on a high and positive path to move this campaign.
Right 2 Survive wants to make sure that everyone who works so hard in the background, and on the
preparations to get us to where we are now- we are truly grateful for you, our comrades. This is about the
rights of the houseless to live with Dignity, and free from harassment. However, it is the efforts of all
of us building this campaign and advocating on behalf of the un-housed that gives this bill the
impact to change the criminalization laws that oppress. A heart-felt sincere thank you! More
updates to follow.
Oregon, HBR: Outreach and Education